Category: Pediatric Dentistry
Babies are born with all 20 of their teeth, but they are unerupted under the gums. The first baby teeth start to erupt around age 6 months. All 20 primary teeth (baby teeth) usually erupt by 3 years old. The first primary teeth begin to fall 6 years old. 6 is also the age when permanent adult teeth begin to erupt. Most permanent teeth are all erupted by age 13.
Guidelines for healthy children’s teeth:
Age 0 – 1
Bottle tooth decay: This occurs if the baby drinks milk, formula, or juice out of bottles for an extended period of time. To prevent this, avoid having the baby fall asleep with a bottle.
Age 0 – 2
After feeding, wipe gums with a clean washcloth to remove sticky plaque buildup. Brush teeth two times a day. Schedule the child’s first dental appointment before 1 years old.
Age 3 – 5
Fluoride toothpaste use can begin at age 3. It is recommended to be a pea size amount of toothpaste, and ensure after brushing the child spits out the toothpaste. By age 4, discourage pacifier use and thumb sucking to prevent issues with proper growth of the mouth. Begin 6 month routine dental checkups.
Ages 6 – 9
This is the age when baby teeth begin to fall out. Parents should help children brush and floss their teeth 2 times a day until the child is proficient by themselves. Once teeth start to develop contact with adjacent teeth, then flossing is advised. At this age group, it is important to remember to spend more time on brushing the back teeth.
Ages 10 – 12
If a child participates in sports, it’s important to wear a mouthguard to protect their developing teeth.
If the child has orthodontic treatment braces, it is important that they brush and floss thoroughly for the best end result.
As always to prevent cavities, one should avoid foods and drinks with high amounts of sugar and ones that stick to teeth. A fluoride mouthrinse can be very helpful in protecting against cavities.
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